Magical Murray Masters Cilic, Reaches Australian Open Final
by Staff | January 28th, 2010, 8:50 am
  • 132 Comments

Andy Murray reached his second career Grand Slam final after a tough 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 14 seed Marin Cilic in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.

“Well, it feels good,” Murray said after the 3-hour,2-minute affair. “I mean, obviously had not had that long to think about it. But it’s obviously quite a long match. Pretty intense. A lot of nerves and stuff in the first set. But, yeah, glad I got to come through, obviously.”

The fourth-seeded Murray dropped the opening set behind two Cilic breaks but seized the lead with an incredible reverse forehand smash winner off a lob to give Murray the go-ahead break in the second set 3-2.

Of that shot Murray said, “It was really important ’cause I don’t want to say the match was slipping away from me, but the momentum was definitely with him. The beginning of the match I created, I think, more of the chances I had, you know, opportunity to break right away and didn’t take it. And he played some really aggressive tennis after that, you know, was putting me under a lot of pressure. But, yeah, that shot made a big difference.”

Cilic, who had been on court a tournament-high 18-hours, 8-minutes entering the match played crisp, error free tennis for the first 90 minutes, but the first-time Slam semifinalist soon began to fade at the hands of the surging Murray. But despite his tired legs the 6-foot-6 Croat kept battling.

Said Cilic, “In the end I’m, of course, a little bit sad because of the final result. But overall I played beginning of the match very good, and with that part I was really pleased. I think I played some great points. I was standing on the court really good. I was playing some unbelievable points there. I think later when he got back into the game in the second set when he broke me, I think he got a little bit of the momentum going and wasn’t easy after to get back into it.”

Late in the match Murray equaled if not bettered his second set break point wizardry by lasering a jaw-dropping stretch forehand winner around the netpost that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Some called it one of the tennis greatest shots ever struck.

Murray will now play the winner of Friday night’s Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga match in the singles final. Murray has beaten Federer in six of ten meetings and defeated Tsonga in two of three.

“Obviously Roger’s record in slams speaks for itself,” said Murray. “He had a great year last year in them making all four finals. You know, he lost the the two that he lost were incredibly tough five-setters. You know, if I’m going to play against him, it will take a special performance to win against him. But I feel like I can do that. Tsonga, he’s one of the most exciting guys to watch because of his athleticism and the way that he plays. He’s obviously had great results here in the past, so…Both obviously going to be very tough. Federer obviously has more experience than Tsonga.”

In his only prior Slam final Murray was defeated by Roger Federer at the US Open in 2008. That was also Murray’s last final appearance and a Grand Slam.

“After last year I had a few tough losses in the Grand Slams,” Murray said. “You know, Wimbledon, I had a chance to make the final there. Lost a really, really tight match against Roddick. It’s nice. It’s what you work for. It’s why at the end of the season I go to train in Miami to try and give myself the opportunity to play in these slams. Obviously, I want to try and win one.”

By winning Murray will try to become the first British man to capture a Grand Slam since Fred Perry won the 1936 US Open. Murray is also the first British player to reach the Australian Open final since John Lloyd in 1977.

“This is the best I’ve played at a slam, I think,” Murray added. “Obviously the match against Rafa was great. Tonight, the majority of the match was great, as well. But, yeah, I feel good. Physically I’m going to be fresh for the final. You know, just comes down to who plays the better tennis on the day. It’s my job to do that.”

Murray will climb to No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and jump past Novak Djokovic to No. 2 should he win on Sunday.

The men’s final will be played Sunday evening at 7:30pm in Melbourne.


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132 Comments for Magical Murray Masters Cilic, Reaches Australian Open Final

SG Says:

He better bring his ‘A’ game against Fed. From what I saw this morning, he looked a little afraid to win his match. Cilic was taking the play to Murray. I think Cilic ran out of gas after a tough tournament.


O-Kerr Says:

I am so happy Murray won, smooth operator. Cilic played good, too, but was bit short.
Congratulations to Murray.

Best of luck to Federer.


jane Says:

SG, Fed still has to beat Tsonga. Just sayin…

Yay!!!!!!!!!! I am really happy for Andy M. I had to go to sleep after the first set and was a little concerned, as Cilic was started well. But very good to see that Murray prevailed. This is it. This is when Murray wins his first slam. I hope. : ]


jane Says:

“Some called it one of the tennis greatest shots ever struck.” Wow – I can’t wait to watch the tape!

Should say, too, great stretch of wins and result for Cilic, the dark horse who is now in the top ten? Good for him.


MMT Says:

“SG, Fed still has to beat Tsonga. Just sayin…”

That’s a great point Jane – Federer lost to Tsonga the last time they played, and Tsonga is playing better now than he was then – the same cannot be said for Federer.

Originally I couldn’t see Tsonga even getting this far in the tournament, and then when he had to be Djokovic, I thought it was a no-go for sure. But he came good in that match (with a little help from the Serbian with such steely resolve…

I mean it has to be said that Djokovic appeared to have the upper hand before his stomach problems, but I suspect that once again, Djokovic’s nerves did the job.

Andre Agassi won the DC tournament one year while hurling into the flower pots at courtside. Sampras won a US Open quarterfinal doing the same – only he didn’t bother to conceal it – just yacked right there at the baseline in between serves.

So what’s with this Djokovic declaring he has to throw up and walking off the court in the middle of the set? The umpire allowed him to take an injury time-out after the fact. But there was a new rule instituted this year saying you have to forfeit the game if you want treatment for cramps when not in a change over. I think it should be the same for indigestion.

In any case, Tsonga was fortunate, in my opinion to get through his quarterfinal, and Federer isn’t playing that well – also in my opinion. Federer has shown in the past that he doesn’t have to play his best to get to Grand Slam finals – how else do you reach 17 of the last 18 -but this year something is amiss – I can’t quite put my finger on it, and I have a feeling that the line-up for the final will be one that guarantees a new grand slam champion.


Kimo Says:

jane, here are the highlights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lhuuQjiqgc

Personally, I think it’s a very well struck shot, but obviously calling it the best ever is a bit of a stretch. I’ve seen Fed and Rafa hit similar shots.

As most of us predicted, it was Murray in four. I hope Roger kicks his butt in the final (nothing personal, I like Roger to kick everyone’s butt in slams), but Tsonga will be a tough nut to crack. He did the rope-a-dope last year on Fed in Toronto. He odes that often, and it can throw his opponents off. If Roger is aware of this, and I’m sure he is, then I see him winning in four.


Kimo Says:

Correction, it was in Montreal, not Toronto.


jane Says:

Thanks Kimo. Murray’s fast. Wow. He hits some of his best stuff on the run. In improvisational skills on the court, he is definitely near the top!!!


been there Says:

MMT:

“…and I have a feeling that the line-up for the final will be one that guarantees a new grand slam champion”

So what exactly are you saying here – that Tsonga is gonna oust Federer tonight or that Murray will definitely beat Federer? Be clear…makes for an interesting read after the matches.

Anyway, bottom line, you’ve guaranteed that Federer will lose, either tonight or Sunday. I think I’ve read almost the same thing (from you?) in almost all Fed’s rounds in this tournament.

I await to see the result of this one!


madmax Says:

C’mon Roger. Tsonga may have beaten fed in last tournament, but there was something adrift then, when rog was 5:1 down. he should have wrapped it in.

But,

We are talking about a slam now. Roger is world no. 1 for a reason. And a hungry roger, is a dangerous roger. So Federer, once again, had better bring his A game. He can do that now as he is marching on, into 23rd semi final. The match is his to lose. C’moon. This is federer!


Cbeast Says:

“Some called it one of the tennis greatest shots ever struck.”
Ok I have to admit that its nothing close to that.
Ridiculous assumption if you ask me.
Just my opinion.


madmax Says:

wrapped it “up!!” (been a lonngggg day!).

Congratulations to all murray fans – you must be very pleased that andy came through. enjoy!


Cbeast Says:

Also I hope Fed Express gets to the final and destroys Murray :) , Grin.


Cbeast Says:

LOl the fact that Murray may face Federer in the final reminded me of the last time they played and fed beat him.There were two real funny comments…
browsed through my Inbox and found them (emailed them to a friend)…. :))

1.King Federer becomes phoenix on this rare occasion and rises out of the ashes. Wow, he is about to dethrone the newly coronated mini king !

2.If I had to guess I would say that Murray would have wanted to beat Fed in London more than actually winning the whole thing. I mean, here’s a guy who desperately want to be taken seriously, especially by Fed, and the fact that Fed dismisses him for a defensive baseliner with a simple game bugs the hell out of him. So he comes out trying to prove to Federer that “You know what? This simple game can kick your a$$”, and for a second there he thought he did just that, but Fed answered him back “Behave yourself kid, or I’ll smack you”.

Note – not trying to have a go at Murray just found these two comments highly amusing.


Gordo Says:

I do get a kick out of everyone who predicts that Fed will lose to whoever he plays.

Good heavens there were ppl in here predicting a straight set loss to Hewitt in the 4th round.

And when he was down to Andreev in the first round the haters were drooling, putting on The End by The Doors and cranking up the volume.

And in what has to be one of the most illogical statements ever made in here, read this one -

“Federer has shown in the past that he doesn’t have to play his best to get to Grand Slam finals – how else do you reach 17 of the last 18?”

Yessssss – how else do you reach 17 of 18 finals unless you do not play your best? Makes perfect sense.

So keep on predicting, because one day Fed is going to fail to improve on the 23 straight semis and 17 of 18 final appearances in slams. And when he loses you will jubilantly crow in here about how right you were, neglecting to mention that your own record of predicting a Federer loss in a grand slam will be 1 for 20.


David Says:

From what I saw of Murray, he still doesn’t have what it takes to beat Fed in a Slam final. His second serve looked weak at times. Wasn’t doing enough damage with the backhand. This has Fed in 4 written all over it. Probably Murray will do a little better than he did at AO but that’s it.

By the way, when/if Roger wins this AO, he’ll be 2 Slams/Majors clear of Tiger. I think that would be the most ridiculous stat of all for me if Roger actually ends up with more Slams than Tiger wins Majors. Maybe it’s weird comparing two different sports, but that’s the only real competition either of these two seem to have.


Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, Federer is in his 25th slam semi, 23rd straight.

The match-up between Tsonga and Federer is a real toss up. After Tsonga said he would’ve “crushed” Djokovic in 08, I’m especially hoping Fed wipes the floor with him. I don’t know if he can but I’m rooting for Fed no matter what.

Should Murray and Fed play in the final, I think we’re in for something incredible. Fed claims to have figured out Murray but things aren’t that simple. Murray is going to try to play to the best of his abilities and Federer will have to do the same if he wants to win. If Federer wins the AO, I don’t think I’ll want him to win any more slams this year. But we’ll see.


David Says:

Sorry, I meant better than Murray did at 08 USO final.


andrea Says:

we’re so used to fed being in the final of a GS that it’s really incredulous to think he won’t be there this time. i think tsonga will give a good fight though.

if it does end up being murray/fed in the final, of course i hope for fed to win; he’s my favorite player and i’m not all that keen on murray. i don’t imagine it will be as bad a drubbing as the last GS final they met in. i’m not convinced that murray can pull thru in the best of 5 against fed.


ThyGodisTennis Says:

This is Murray’s slam to lose. He has the extra day off. He has lost only one set. He is peaking perfectly. He has played great but from what I can see he has plenty left in the tank for a five setter with Fed or Tsonga. He still has a weak second serve but he has improved greatly everywhere else. He has more strength in those legs. This is his time and he had better not blow it or the Brit media will destroy him. This slam has played out perfectly for him.

Fed may have to play five sets to win against a hungry Tsonga and turn around in 24 hours and play another potential five setter final and I am not so sure he can pull it off. Same for Tsonga if he beats Fed, which he knows, he can.

The trophy for Fed this year may be the longest weeks at number one.


David Says:

Ben

This match tonight doesn’t fit my definition of a toss-up. For me, that’s when two players meet that are more or less the same ability/achievement-wise. Maybe Roddick vs. Murray or Djokovic vs. Del Potro. I don’t see how we can call a match between a 15-time Slam winner against a guy who’s in his second Slam semifinal a toss-up. There are several reasons why there’s such a disparity in their career achievements. A very small part of that is Tsonga’s injury problems. A big part is Fed’s unsurpassed ability to play under pressure, his strategic sense, his experience, his fluid movement, that special genius that no one else has, none of which are attributes Tsonga possesses. Yes, Jo-Wil has a lot of power and he’s a good net player. But suggesting we may as well flip a coin to see who wins beggars belief.


MMT Says:

been there: Sorry for the confusion – I think Tsonga wins the semi-final tonight with Fed, but I can’t judge how he’ll do in the final until I see him against Fed. That’s how I arrive at a new GS champion.

As for picking against Fed, I have only done so starting with Davydenko. I never thought Andreev, Hanescu, Montanes or Hewitt would beat him, but I haven’t been impressed with his play – he certainly hasn’t played as well as last year. He is a champion who finds ways to win, but I think eventually he who plays the best over 2 weeks wins, and I don’t believe it is Federer in 2010.

Murray’s looked a lot better, and Tsonga’s serve makes him very dangerous. Since he beat Federer the last time around, and I think he wins.


MMT Says:

Gordo Says: “And in what has to be one of the most illogical statements ever made in here, read this one -

“Federer has shown in the past that he doesn’t have to play his best to get to Grand Slam finals – how else do you reach 17 of the last 18?”

I stand by that statement – I’m quite certain that if you asked Federer, he’d say he hasn’t always played his best at all slams, but he keeps reaching finals.

My point is that he finds ways to win when he’s not playing/feeling well, which is more than I can say for his contemporaries. His contemporaries seem to reach the finals only when they’re playing well – they don’t have plan B’s, but Federer does – and C’s and D’s along with it.

Murray has plan B’s tactically, but mentally he’s not been consistent enough to reach finals – however, this year, he appears to be playing very well. Tsonga’s performances in slams are very erratic – sometimes good, and then he hits a roadblock. But his highest level is good enough to beat anyone, including Federer, and he seems to revel in the limelight.

The combination of these factors make me pick Tsonga over Federer.


thetennisguy Says:

Andy, Come On! Win this final and get your girl friend back, ok!


Ben Pronin Says:

I agree with MMT about everything except for Tsonga beating Fed. I’m not saying he’s wrong, but I can’t tell who’s going to win so I’m not even going to try and call it.

David, I don’t think you can judge a match between 2 players simply by their achievements. Yes it’s important but current form plays a huge role, too. Tsonga has been playing strong and has shown some mental resolve. He’s also been 2 sets from winning the entire event before so he’s not THAT inexperienced. Federer should be considered the favorite but I still say it’s a toss up.


Duro Says:

Devastating, why did you say Tsonga won all of the 5 meetings with Novak after AO 2008? Another thing, the presser of Tsonga you were referring to on the other thread, saying that “Today he had a stomach problem, but he often has problems when it’s not going,”, where is that from? It’s not his presser from the official AO site. Was it given to someone else?


Ben Pronin Says:

I found it on the ticker on tennis.com

I have no idea who he said it to. Possibly his post match interview with Courier?


Duro Says:

Got it. Novak won in Miami, of course. After AO 2008. Tsonga is the jackass, so…


Ben Pronin Says:

Novak won in Indian Wells after the 08 AO. He lost in the second round of Miami as the defending champion.


Duro Says:

Devastating, Novak won in Miami 2009.


Ben Pronin Says:

What Miami are you referring to? The Masters event? He lost to Murray in the final.


Duro Says:

Devastating, I was talking about someone saying Tsonga won all of the 5 matches they played since AO 08. Novak won in Miami 2009, therefore after the AO 08. I wasn’t talking about tournaments when mentioning Miami, just about their encounters.


madmax Says:

Ben,

Hi.

I think I have said enough times on this forum (too many), that federer has won his 23rd consecutive semi final, so forgive me if I said “consecutive” this time around. Point taken. (but I knew it already – check previous posts :) ).

Duro,

Good to see you after such a while. A shame for novak, and I dont like the things that people say about him “choking” or “tanking”. A stomach bug, is just what it is. The fact that he could play at all is amazing. I dont understand why people want to be so nasty – they seem to thrive on it.

To all federer fans, here’s looking forward to a great match tomorrow and to…

GANNU in particular, hoping you find some peace and calm in those “difficult” moments! (I’ll hold your hand, spiritually!).

C’moon! Go federer!
The spirit of a champion! Really hoping that the serve is “on” tomorrow and that he enjoys the game, with a little bit of free swinging and free styling on that court! It’s Federer’s match to win! Go federer!


Ben Pronin Says:

I never said Tsonga won all 5 matches. He won 4 straight before Djokovic won their last. Their h2h now is 5-2 in Tsonga’s favor.


madmax Says:

I meant to say “consecutive” Ben, but inadvertently missed – (pure excitement, that’s all!).


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s ok, madmax, if anyone’s gonna know Fed’s stats it’s gonna be you. But honestly, I feel like most people forget that Federer’s made a total of 25 semis. Obviously the streaks are particularly impressive but I’ve never heard anyone on ESPN2 say “Even though Federer’s made 23 straight semis, he’s made 25 overall.” Speaking of which, I’m definitely gonna have a blog about the commentators after the AO is over.


madmax Says:

Ben,

you are THE BEST in terms of stats. And I absolutely mean that. I think you are brilliant and I adore you when you tell me I am wrong!!!!!! :)


madmax Says:

Definitely Ben, in terms of the Commentators. My God. Eurosports commentating (save Frew Mcmillan -ex doubles british tennis player (apparently), (sounds very old school, so guess he must be in his 50′s/60′s now), is brilliant.

Everyone else is crap – been really disappointed with some of the ridiculous comments they have said about federer, they show ignorance a lot of the time. Sky sports is definitely the cream of the crop.


Duro Says:

Devastating, I accepted it (that somebody else have said it and you found it on the Ticker on the Tennis.com)! It’s OK. I just explained that Novak won against Tsonga in Miami 2009. See you.

Maxi, I was kind of waiting for you to appear to ask you if you saw something and did you change your opinion which I didn’t ever share with you. Before that, I must “complain” that you write a post and disappear all the time. A man cannot answer you! OK, now the question. Did you see what’s happening among people here? Can you believe that so much bad blood can be shed all over the threads? Do you still believe that this site is more civilized than the other one we visit? People are all the same everywhere…


madmax Says:

but skysports dont have the rights to broadcast AO, though BBC do when it comes to murray (ugh! in terms of their “Murray this, Murray that” – All the time). Also Eurosports switch to women’s matches at inopportune moments PLUS, cut into men’s matches within a second of a fabulous point, I dont understand why they do this – but like you said – after the AO, we talk!


madmax Says:

Duro Hi! I’m here.

Yes, I have read the nasty discussions on this forum and I was shocked. I am glad Ben came on and gave warnings. It has to be done. So duro, you were right. But I wont badmouth people. Ever. The way some people do here, it is not pleasant. At all.

You are right. People are the same everywhere. It isn’t nice and also it isn’t clever. Completely moves away from what this site is about – I still think some classy posters here – Jane (beautiful), Longlive (gorgeous), Margot (a doll), Been there (cool), Huh (love him – but he has a spat with you know who (obviously goes way back), so that is a separate issue (hopefully they will sort this out). Huh has fantastic things to say most of the time and I feel is more of a gem than not –

And there is you duro. I have always liked you. And I feel there is genuine respect between you and me. I hope it stays that way.

Sorry to see what happened to novak. I wrote something about that on TT. I dont understand why people want to be so nasty about him.


ThyGodisTennis Says:

Why does it take soooo long for my comments to post? How is it that other posters seem to be able to have conversations but I wait hours for my comments to post. Exactly what is the agenda at this site?


margot Says:

There’s only one Andy Murray…trala lala…and his times a-coming.


Duro Says:

Maxi, of course it stays that way…
Something else surprises me more; how come such things can survive in here! I respect the freedom of speech and the Holly Principles of Democracy, but is there an administrator here!???? I think the line is way too much crossed than it’s supposed to be when the nations are mentioned, or fascists, or whatever. Shame on everyone. Misery all over…


Duro Says:

Margot, my sincere felicitations. Your guy is really something… Respect.


SRM Says:

Murray reaching final means Nadal drops to No.4 in Rankings next Monday. This will be the first time he will be ranked 4th since his first FO win. Also with 3 Masters wins and 2 finals to defend still before FO, I don’t see Nadal climbing back to No.3 or No.2 any time soon.

Now we may get to see Fed Vs Nadal in Semifinal round?


Ben Pronin Says:

Since 2004, the winner of the AO has gone on to win the Masters at Indian Wells all but 2 times (05 AO Safin, Fed IW, 07 AO Fed, IW Nadal). So as of right now, Tsonga, Fed, and Murray could very well go on to win IW. I’d say Murray has the best chance of the 3.


madmax Says:

duro,

i think the administrators on TT are more vigilant and intervene a lot more (but is a rafa fan site, dont you think?).

Here, things take a bit more time. But Ben made the point, very well, that politics should be kept out of tennis. It gets nasty otherwise. We are lucky to experience a diverse culture on this forum. Something that should be celebrated and respected, not attacked or denounced in any way.

I’m all for freedom of speech, but political issues should stay well away.


Duro Says:

Maxi, there is no such a thing as Rafa or anyone else fan site. The people are free to visit and participate as much as they like or find a reason or motive to. The problem would occur if the authors of the threads are biased. That would make a site a site of one particular player. Don’t worry. The site automatically turns to Fed’s or Nole’s or Rafa’s site the minute they achieve some great success, and other way around.

About Indian Wells, I am placing a bet here of 100 Euros that Novak Djokovic will win it!

Anyone dare?


margot Says:

Doro: Thankyou so much! Like jane I see Andy and Djko as such talented fabulous players. Djko will be back, be sure of that. Meantime please keep everything crossed for Andy!


Duro Says:

Come on, people! Nole is on his knees!!! Earn 100 Euros easily! Anyone?


tenisbebe Says:

Duro – Hi ya guy. Well traditionally does well at the Spring US HC masters (IW/Miami). I saw him play in IW 2007 and was at the final when he lost to Rafa – 2 weeks later he beats Rafa in Miami…

For me, I bet my heartstrings, not my cash :-)


Duro Says:

Cowards… You bash all the time and when the time comes to show your guts, where are you? Imagine how would you fare on court in real life. A man should stay behind his words…


tenisbebe Says:

Margot – Congrats to you and your fave Murray & good luck to him whoever his opponent will be. I’ll bet the British press has been going bonkers over the possibility of Murray winning his 1st major. How’s are your nerves holding up?


tenisbebe Says:

Oops – my post at 3:58pm s/b “Traditionally Nole plays well…”


Cindy_Brady Says:

I don’t why the British press is so in love with Murray. He doesn’t even want to be associated with Great Britain. He’s made no bones about it, he’s Scottish.

I guess the Brits are so starved for a tennis champion, they will even accept the likes of an Andy Murray as one of their own.

How desperate the English have become.


David Says:

I’m surprised there so much doubting of Federer in this thread. There seems to be this idea that he’s not as good as he used to be, not as dominant. He’s older. That’s all true, but I still think all of the difference between Federer of 2006 and 2010 is still not that big and it’s certainly not enough to prevent him from being a HUGE favorite to win this thing. There’s just no way that Tsonga or Murray can be expected or favored to beat Roger. That’s just absurd.

In the same vein, there seems to be an idea that Fed was just completely untouchable at peak. For example 2006. No doubt he was clearly superior, but I also remember several matches, even at Slams, in which he really struggled. Two of them happened at the AO against both Haas and Davydenko. Actually Baghdatis in the final as well. Then at the USO, his match with Blake was a little bit similar to to the one the other day against Davy. Fed of course never trailed against Blake, but in both matches he had some ridiculous streak of consecutive games won, but then struggled at the end to close it out.

Point is that the 2010 version of Fed is about a half a notch below what he was at peak, but he’s still far and away the best player. It would take a gigantic upset for him to lose three sets in one match to either Tsonga or Murray.


tenisbebe Says:

Well, Murray is adamant that he is Scottish when anyone mistakenly refers to him as English, but has no problem with the “British” label. There are so many press outlets in the British Isle that they’ve got to fill those pages! Those snarly tabloid will jump on the bandwagon when you’re on the way up and then kick you and again on the way down. Such a contrast to the exterior stoic British persona.


madmax Says:

David,

Am sticking with Federer. Havent wavered and won’t.

He is singularly, THE most amazing player I have ever seen and seriously, you cannot expect him to stay the same player that he was 6 years ago, but the amazing fact is that 6 YEARS ON, he is still playing GREAT tennis. Different, but still GREAT. I love it!

He is still winning, he is still reaching the semi finals of slams (at least), and he is playing incredible tennis, PLUS, in lots of ways, his tennis is better. It’s a cleverer way of playing. Tactics are still there, hunger still there, danger still there. Fed is the best.

Yes. He doesnt have to grind a ball down, he goes to the net much more, he mixes his game up much more, I never doubt his talent.

And like you say, he is still far and away the best player, despite being one of the older players on the tour. Who cares. Federer is still here. Massive respect!


jane Says:

This is from Andy Murray’s presser after his win over Cilic, re: Britain -

” Q. Is there any extra motivation for you to know that you could be the one to break a long Grand Slam drought for Britain?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I’d obviously love to do it. It’s not really the only reason, you know, that I want to win a slam. I want to win it, you know, obviously for the people that I work with, for my parents and stuff, who obviously helped me when I was growing up, then doing it for British tennis and British sport would be excellent, as well.

But, you know, the pressure that I feel doesn’t come from the people that are around me. They obviously are happy with anything that I do. But, you know, I want to win for them first. ”

—————————————
So Cindy, contrary to what you say, I think Murray does feel an alliance with Brits.

Besides the ubiquitous “you know” in most player’s interviews, Murray has a tick with the word “obviously” – I am sure he’d be shocked if he read his interviews and realizes how much he says it. LOL.

—————————————–

Anyhow, “obviously” he’s going to win his first slam! : ) Right margot? ; ) [I'll wish his the best, most definitely...]


jane Says:

*[his s/b him]


Cindy_Brady Says:

I am going to JINX Andy Murray and pick him in straight sets over Federer if Fed survives Tsonga.

I have no doubt that Andy Murray will win. Federer is old and over the hill while Murray is young, fresh, and hungry.

I GUARANTEE Andy Murray will win. Mark my words!

Fed will lose and badly!


Long Live The King Says:

Duro :

I will take you on the bet. Do you have the guts to make it 1000 euros, though?

Remember retirement/withdrawal counts as loss.


David Says:

madmax

I used to sort of gauge my predictions about Federer based on what Sampras did. Sampras didn’t win AOs after 1997 so that means Fed won’t win after 2007. Sampras started playing worse and worse at the FO after 1997 so that means Fed’s play there will start declining.

And then it occurred to me. Fed’s not Pete. He’s way better than Pete ever was (and Pete was really, really great!) so none of that Pete-based analysis means anything. We’re on another planet with Fed and old rules don’t apply. This guy never gets injured, never gets tired, never lacks desire. I seriously think he’ll keep winning majors for another 3 or 4 years, including winning the AO this year, breaking the all-time Wimby record, winning another FO and another USO. What’s that? Five more majors? Yeah, I think an even 20 sounds about right for him.


Duro Says:

Long Live The King, I don’t have a thousand Euros to bet on. I offered you or anyone else a hundred Euros. Do you accept it?


tenisbebe Says:

Cindy_Brady Says: I have no doubt that Andy Murray will win. Federer is old and over the hill while Murray is young, fresh, and hungry. I GUARANTEE Andy Murray will win. Mark my words! Fed will lose and badly!”

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy, always stirring the pot. Of course you know that all the Fedanatics will come running with scathing comments to the contrary. Ha ha well at least it will make for an interesting read. Look out!


tenisbebe Says:

I am rooting for Tsonga to win it all as he is one of my faves. Murray, 2nd choice. Hoping for a Tsonga/Murray final.


Long Live The King Says:

Of all the wonderful things about Roger, the thing I find most fascinating is how much he loves the game and the competition. Haven’t seen another sportsman who sees the matches as less work-man like as Roger. He loves keeping himself informed about the game. I am sure he would be the pro-tennis player I would pick to talk about tennis over a beer. He would be the least likely of all pro-players to say “dude, can we not talk about my work!”

I am quite positive Roger will compete into his middle and late 30s, body permitting. As long as he enjoys playing and is fit to play, he will always be a force at slams. I dont buy the “losing too much will hurt him” argument. Afterall, can you think of anyone losing a heart-breaking final like the 2008 wimbledon and winning the very next slam or losing another heart-crusher at 09 Oz and winning the missing french title? This guy can get over losses faster than the fans :)


Long Live The King Says:

Duro:

I never ever thought I would say this to a guy, but here it is…

I DO!


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha! We are officially married now! We shall agree on payment technical details latter on, but our marriage is officially announced to the world. The posters will be our witnesses. Congratulations!


Long Live The King Says:

I seriously dont care who wins. I would root for tsonga/murray/cilic anytime. (I know Cilic is out, but am just sayin, I was alright with the semi-finalists). Actually I was quite fine with any of the QFs winning too. As a Fed fan, everything now is gravy or icing on the cake. I would love it if he can get to 25 slams and break Margaret Court’s record, but it isn’t even time yet to dream of that record. Maybe if and when he gets to 20, I will revert to rooting for him WAY ABOVE anyone else (like mad max…. WINK WINK).

So let the best guy win. I personally think Fed will get tsonga in either 4 or 3 sets. He should get his 16th on sunday, but we all know tsonga-fed and murray have beaten each other, so anything can happen.

Interesting note. Fed won GS no.1 in his 18th slam. This is murray’s 17th. Will he barge through the floodgates like Roger, if he pulls this off? :)


Long Live The King Says:

LOL Duro! Bring it on. Though I still think we should go for 1000 euros (maybe 10 instalments? ;) If you lose, you can pay me 100euros everytime Djoko wins a title, so that the pain is less for you.

I will do the same, if I lose – but when Roger/Rafa win a title instead?

Sounds good?


Duro Says:

How come Rafa is brought to the story? I thought there was only one king? Your offer is generous and kind but I think we should stick to the deal. Who’s gonna be your best wo(man)? I am choosing Jane to be mine, and I suggest you should choose Maxi (Madmax, who’s the girl, by the way) to be yours, as the most devoted Fed fan there is. That, of course, if they accept it. Gotta sleep now. Cheers and see you around, the most lately March 11th 2010. Good luck!


Duro Says:

March 11th at latest, of course. Mistake.


tenisbebe Says:

Felicitaions to Duro and Long Live the King on your marriage! Ha ha. Bring on Indian Wells.


SRM Says:

Long Live the King, Fed won his first GS on 17th attempt unless wikipedia is wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer


jane Says:

Congratulations Duro and LLTK on your engagement. Duro, I am honored and flattered and will happily stand by you and hand you the ring, and/or lift the train of your gown. LOL! ; )

LLTK – did I hear you correctly? Expanding your boundaries above? Cool!

I’ll concede. Though I am cheering for Andy M. the most, may the best man win on Sunday!


SRM Says:

Not sure anyone noticed it. Fed has crossed 50 wins mark in Australian Open all years. His W-L record in majors stands like this.

Australian Open : 52-7
French Open : 39-10
Wimbledon : 51-5
US Open : 51-5

And I don’t bet against him winning 11 more matches in French Open before he retires. So he will end up having won minimum 50 match wins in each of the Major.


puckbandit Says:

Bravo to Andy Murray for last night’s win. I am so excited/nervous about the final.

All this talk about a declining Roger is just the same ol conventional wisdom that crops up with all the great players as the head toward their 30′s. It happened to Chris, Martina and Steffi, as well as Connors, Pete, Rosewall etc. People begin to look for chinks in the armor. i think, because of his style of play, he has potential to win many more slams. But i also think there is more varied competition and the field is deeper now than it has been since the heydays of Mac/Connors/Borg/Lendl/Becker et al. Doesn’t hurt to havve 32 seeds either.


puckbandit Says:

ThyGodisTennis wrote:

“Fed may have to play five sets to win against a hungry Tsonga and turn around in 24 hours and play another potential five setter final and I am not so sure he can pull it off.”

Not true. Fed will get a day off; the turnaround is 48 hours, not 24.


Ra Says:

Nadal has posted on facebook that he has been to the doctor and will have a diagnosis in the morning (which will be publicized in a press release). I am assuming that “morning” means morning on his end.


Long Live The King Says:

SRM :

I was saying the number off the top of my head, so quite possibly I am wrong. Maybe I should check if Murray is in his 18th? lol I remember having read 17 and 18 and Roger and Murray mentioned. May be the article/website goofed up. In any case, it will be an interesting thing to see if murray’s career will follow…. remember Roger was criticized for being too aggressive against hewitt and nalbandian and boom! he wins wimbledon and finds the right balance. Murray who can match Roger more than anyone else on the variety or court-smartness front is being chastised for passive play….. hmmm…. maybe I am grasping at thin air…. but it interests me :)


Long Live The King Says:

Duro:

100 it is then. Rafa was brought to entice you to 1000 euros (since Roger/Rafa winning titles means you will get paid faster, especially with the clay court season). feel free to check back on if we can make it 1000euros – you knoww when Djoko is in the semis or like that (most likely I wont accept, but you can give it a shot. I might accept if temperatures are soaring ;)

Maxi sounds perfect to me :) Though keep in mind I am betting on Nole not winning and not Roger winning LOL

And yes there is only one King on the tennis court. I have no problem accepting Rafa as a king, but I would upgrade Roger to Emperor status then ;)


tenisbebe Says:

Ra – re Rafa see below:

Nadal will have an MRI this afternoon in the clinic TOP of Barcelona, under the supervision of doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro. An ultrasound imaging was done in Melbourne at the conclusion of his quarterfinal match with Andy Murray, which revealed a tear in the quadriceps tendon. The amount of broken fibers will determine the amount of downtime for Nadal. But the reality is that the 30 days of planned Nadal preseason to prepare the hardcourt U.S. tour will become a heavy and lengthy rehabilitation.


Long Live The King Says:

Thanks Jane and Tenisbebe,

Though I need to make sure Duro gets it that I am betting against Nole and not on Roger. Betting on Roger at a hardcourt master’s? 2cincinnati masters in 3yrs :D

Jane, I do mean it – Roger has ensured he is the no.1 sportstar of my life yet. He is leagues above most athletes I have watched, on the joy-of-watching-him-play scale and the numbers he has put up would make any tennis fan shudder in disbelief (atleast they should!)

Every tennis fan should check this out:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2010/Roger-Federer.aspx

Amazing numbers in an ultra competitive, globally open sport.

What I mean is, Fed has given me the bliss to last a 100 lives :) so I can refrain from putting more pressure on how he lives or what he achieves. I will cheer everything he wins, but wont go crazy if he doesn’t. (Until he gets to that dreamy 20GS, and he has the courage and/or stamina to take a shot at 25, very unlikely but he might try to get fans like me back to crazy status again ;)

PS – I still wont accept people who prance around with stupid names like Fed is afraid, though :)


Long Live The King Says:

For Maxi :) (and all Roger well-wishers and/or tennis-fans)

http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/thespin.aspx?articleid=3966&zoneid=32


tenisbebe Says:

LLTK – It was clear to me that the bet is whether Djokovic wins IW or not but you may want to clear that up with Duro, LOL.


Tejuz Says:

Tsonga reminds me a lot about Safin. He is powerful, huge serve, good mover .. only difference is he has a better forehand whereas Safin had a better backhand. But they have similar charisma, fav among the crowds. So i somehow think this match against Fed might be similar to the Fed-Safin 5-setter in 2005. But i believe Fed might come out on top this time. Either ways.. whoever wins this match.. i want them to win the finals as well. If Tsonga reaches the finals.. it will be his second time.. same as Murray.

Both have lost before on the big stage.. though Tsonga had give a better fight in 2008 than Murray.

Even though Murray has a better H2H against both Fed and Tsonga.. he has lost all their Slam encounters.


Ra Says:

Thank you, tenisbebe. I guess we may have even more specific information soon.


David Says:

LLTK

Thanks for the site. Reading about all those records gave me a greater appreciation for Nadal as well. Almost every important loss Federer has had over the past 5 years has been against one player. Without Nadal, Federer might have 2 CYGS, which would be even better than Laver, considering that one of Laver’s CYGS was as an amateur.


jane Says:

Just wanted to say hi!! to Tejuz, who hasn’t posted in a while. I can definitely see the similarities between Marat and Jo-Will. Both are (were) exciting players to watch, have an all court game, loads of power, charisma, and are very moody.

One personality difference, imo, is that Safin was more “straight up” in his interviews. He said the most blunt, krusty, hilarious things. I miss him. (Plus, imo, he was way hotter ; ))


tenisbebe Says:

Ra – you’re welcome. This was obviously translated from a Spanish source so part of the 1st sentence should read “in the tope clinic of Barcelona”.

Please let me know if you hear anything further regarding his condition & I will do the same.


tenisbebe Says:

Oops, wrong again “top clinic” Jez…


Tejuz Says:

Hi Jane.. :-) yeah.. u havent posted for a while now..been busy, changing diapers for my son… still am… but i still try to catch up on the blogs here, especially during slams.

Yeah.. Safin was quite straight-up.. but i still find Tsonga’s interviews amusing as well. Anyway.. i hope we get a great match tonight. Even though am a Fed fan.. i wont mind either of them winning.


Tejuz Says:

Sorry Jane.. that shud have been “I havent posted” instead of “u havent posted” .. typo.


jane Says:

Just finished watching the Cilic/Murray semi and wow. First, credit to Cilic, who played a great AO and even though he was clearly feeling all those 5 setters near the end of the match, Murray was literally zoning at times. The one shot around the net post was an amazing get off what would’ve been a return winner for Cilic against pretty much ANYONE else, but in general, Murray was moving so well, flying around the court. He was also seriously hitting his forehand at times. All of his variety was on show: lobs, net play, running shots, great first serves. It’s no wonder he won. He was a little slow starting though and he’ll have to be careful about that in the final. He doesn’t want to go down, like 2 sets or something. But a major positive is that he got incredibly stronger as the match wore on. That bodes well if he keeps it close in the final. Nice match!


jane Says:

Diapers eh Tejuz? I’ve been there, but my son is now 9 so it’s long over. Glad you’re still managing to catch tennis and occasionally pop in here. Nice to “see” ya.


tenisbebe Says:

Tejuz – what an interesting comparison b/w Marat (is he really gone for good?) and J-W. Both are charismatic, great servers, good movement and could/can be explosive off one wing (FH Tsonga, BH Marat) but physically Tsonga is much more solid in the truck (215 lbs/97 kg) and Safin a little taller. Miss Marat! Go J-W!


SG Says:

I’ve heard it all before. Davydenko’s figured out Federer. He’s beaten Fed twice in a row. Whatever….Beating Fed in a major is nowhere near the same prospect as beating him at the Podunk Open.

Don’t get me wrong. Tsonga has a nice game. Strong serve, good from the baseline. He can volley reasonably well and he’s a good athlete too. For Tsonga the issue isn’t the x’s and o’s on the tennis court. The obstacles are in his head. From what I know, he hasn’t had much success again Federer.

I expect the match to start out interesting with both players blasting away and playing well. But, I see Tsonga going away after losing a close first or second set.


Von Says:

Long Live:

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement on the other thread! As I mentioned I’ll be posting until the AO is finished. I’m doing so with the express intention of sending your guy good vibes — just for you.

You’re breaking my heart, by breach of promise!! Have I been unceremoniously been dumped without being told? I remember your mentioning that you needed to get your vows revamped (a bit different from the first time you took the plunge) and needed to buy a new tuxedo, before we set the date for our soon to be nuptials. However, I see from your posts here that you’ve gotten yourself a new partner, and, one of the opposite sex. What’s going on hon? I thought I was THE one and only? LOL

BTW, re the love you wanted for Fed, haven’t you noticed, I’ve given props to Fed winning the AO. I’ve also given him a lot of love silently in my heart, and wish him all the best in his upcoming match. I also wish for him to win a second FO, considering how much he’s patiently waited to get the first one, so that the No. 1 FO ’09 title, wouldn’t be considered a fluke in the minds of the tennis pundits. Is that enough love for you? That said, I’m expecting you to keep your commitment to root for my ‘sweetheart’ to win another GS, perhaps Wimby? And, I hope you wouldn’t let me down as you’ve done with our pending nuptials, which are now just a figment of my imagination, I’m thinking. LOOL

_________________
Tejuz: How nice to see you around! And, congrats on the birth of your son and heir. enjoy your precious bundle of joy.!!Are you having fun with the 2:00 am feedings?

BTW, have you been able to go to Rod Laver Arena to watch Fed play??


Kimmi Says:

jane: re Murray. Did u realise Murray Rafa tactics did not work well for Cilic? Cilic was demolishing Murray second serves unlike Rafa and also Cilic returns were biting. It was amazing to see Murray changing his tactic a little after, he improved his 1st serve % which was soo poor in the beginning and started to attack more. How many times we have seen one shot changing the whole match ? (talk about federer/davy match too.) That winner by Murray from cilic lob changed this match too imo.

Anyways, I really hope Murray wins here. If he plays fed (I Loooove Fed) but this time my whole heart is with Murray..guess I am not a so devoted Roger fan I guess :)- we will see what happenes on Sunday but so far I feel for Murray.

Hoping and hoping he gets it.


tenisbebe Says:

Well, conventional wisdom dictates that Federer is the favorite in all matches and all surfaces, with the possible exception of clay. Tsonga’s problem has always been his lack of consistency (albeit injuries), a must when playing the great one. He’s gritty, tough & extremely talented but hasn’t been able to put it all together on a big stage. Even though imo Fed’s not playing at his best level, it mostly comes down to how his opponent plays: if they (Murray/Tsonga) can play at their top level, Fed can be beaten.


Von Says:

SG: “For Tsonga the issue isn’t the x’s and o’s on the tennis court.”

Don’t you think Tsonga’s problem is his return game which is not as fluid and/or accurate as it could be, coupled with his ‘go for broke’ mentality ala Blake and Gonzalez? That said, is it only in his head? I think his problem is one of ‘impatience’ coupled with his go for broke mentality and overhitting.


Ben Pronin Says:

There’s a huge difference between Tsonga and Safin. Safin was never a show boater. He was always pretty humble about his tennis. Tsonga goes around claiming he can “crush” people. Plus Tsonga is french and Safin is as russian as they get.


tenisbebe Says:

Von – Hi there, how be you? Yes Tsonga’s return game is suspect but I am just now sitting down to watch the first 4 sets of his match vs Djokovic (haven’t had a chance til now) and will be looking to see how he coped with the Djoko serve to pull that one out.


SG Says:

Von Says:
SG: “For Tsonga the issue isn’t the x’s and o’s on the tennis court.”

Don’t you think Tsonga’s problem is his return game which is not as fluid and/or accurate as it could be, coupled with his ‘go for broke’ mentality

—————–

I think Tsonga’s go for broke attitude is a sign of not being all there mentally. Today’s baseline game involves constructing a point and then attacking at the right time. You need patience. If you don’t have patience, you’ll have a problem.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Hi back at ya!!

Enjoy the match and keep an eye out for Tsonga’s return game. His after the match celebration was way over the top, IMO. I think I heard/saw Ben spitting some nails when that was happening.. LOL I hope Tsonga doesn’t let his win over Djoko get to his head, or else Fed will be the one crushing Tsonga if their match gets to a fifth set.


Von Says:

SG: “You need patience. If you don’t have patience, you’ll have a problem.”

You’re correct, and as I stated above Tsonga’s problem is one of impatience.

After I had written that post, I thought to myself, SG is right, it is a mind thing, because impatience is definitely a state of mind.

Who’s your pick to win the whole thing??


jane Says:

tenisbebe, I have to say, and you can tell me what you think after you’ve watched, but that was not a good serving match for Djoko: 2 aces in 5 sets, and 9 doubles. Their final in 2008, by contrast, was pretty much reversed: in 4 sets, 11 aces (at clutch times) and 2 doubles. (Tsonga hit 15 aces in their 08 match and 19 this year). I think Von makes a good point about Tsonga’s return game. With him and Fed, it’ll be crucial that he serves well and that he maintains that throughout. Plus that he can finish off points at the net or with winners. I wonder: isn’t Fed’s defense better?

—————————————

Ben, it’s true! Tsonga’s charisma is infectious for many (mainly I like it), but the end dance, pointing at himself, jumping, etc., is a little bit tired by now (he’s been doing it for a while – I notice Courier imitated him after one of his wins here). There is NO WAY Safin would ever do a dance like that on the court. No way. He hardly celebrated when he beat Fed in that 5 setter in 2005.

Serious and sardonic Russian vs. Flamboyant Frenchie. : )


Kimmi Says:

Ben: “Tsonga goes around claiming he can “crush” people…”

I think Tsonga is enjoying his rivalry with Djoko. After all he is won more matches (5-2), especially him being the underdog and all. I guess when Djoko starts to return the favor frequently Tsonga will gain respect – And I agree, that was very poor from tsonga .


jane Says:

Kimmi, I did notice that Murray decided, sort of half way through the second set, that he’d better step it up, and as you say, on that crazy point –(net cord, amazing that Murray got to it; stab volley, amazing he got that; and then lob, which he ran back to get and whirled around to hit that forehand passer down the line – just WOW)– he turned things around. He went for broke; it’s all or nothing. And after that, he just went up and up and up while Cilic was wilting (though he kept fighting, admirably).


FEDS no1 fan Says:

Federer will beat tsonga and murray in straight sets, and yas all know it


Ben Pronin Says:

“No way. He hardly celebrated when he beat Fed in that 5 setter in 2005.”

This makes me laugh because his win over Federer was only in the semis. You’d expect to see more of a reaction when he actually won the whole thing over Hewitt. Nope. Not Safin. A subtle blink-and-you-missed-it fist pump is how Safin celebrates arguably the biggest victory of his career (I’m saying it’s slightly bigger than the USO because he finally managed to win with that target on his back).

I have to mention Tsonga saying he’d have “crushed” Djokovic if they had gone to a 5th set in the 08 final. Tsonga played his FIRST 5-setter two matches ago!! It’s 2010, man, and he’s, what 23? 24? Plus, for all those who criticize Djokovic’s fitness and mental toughness, even after his loss he’s now 7-3 in 5 set matches in the slams. I’m not saying he’s a Nadal or Federer, but he’s not so terrible that he needs to rethink his profession. Anyone remember the classic against Stepanek? Or Baghdatis? Or the one guy at the French a few years ago who’s name escapes me? I remember reading how Djokovic has a way of stealing matches away even when he looks like he’s on his way to a loss. Not exactly what I’d call a mental chump.


jane Says:

Good point about Djokovic’s 5 set record Ben. Most of those came earlier, of course, pre-2008? I remember the Steps one as it was amazing, and the crowd was in awe. It’s still, I think (?), the longest men’s match played at the USO. But I can’t be bothered to check on that record just now. Since 2007, he’s not played many until the Tsonga one. Lots of 4 setters I can recall, though.

BTW, I know that was a semi over Fed by Safin in 05, but it was, nonetheless, a huge win, since Fed was extremely dominant by then. Many players wouldn’t fallen over, yelled, something to express their joy, but not magical Marat.

Ah to watch Safin at his best…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPICTxZRVpA&feature=related


sar Says:

After Tsonga said he would’ve “crushed” Djokovic in 08,

I guess Jo is still hurting from that loss. Hope he can win one someday.


Huh Says:

“BTW, I know that was a semi over Fed by Safin in 05, but it was, nonetheless, a huge win, since Fed was extremely dominant by then. Many players wouldn’t fallen over, yelled, something to express their joy, but not magical Marat.

Ah to watch Safin at his best…”

That IMO was an instinct thing, I think Safin clearly knew that he did not have to fall to the ground after beating Federer coz that’s for the lesser ones. Safin was nearly as talented as Fed and he knew it. Thus he did not get either surprised or jubiliant on beating Federer. That’s natural too. Even we don’t jump or roll in ecstacy when we beat someone similar to us in terms of intelligence and talent and no superior, whether in studies or in game. And same was that case with DP in the USO 09 semi. ;)


Ben Pronin Says:

Huh, you’re looking at Safin like a normal tennis player. He’s not, he’s Safin. After winning the AO, he was asked if he was happy that he finally won after losing 2 finals and all that other stuff. No, Safin wasn’t happy, he was relieved. He was relieved people would stop bugging him about only winning one slam. I’m sure a lot of players have been relieved to win slams, but they’ve also been happy. Safin was just relieved.


Huh Says:

So far as I remember, Jo and Nole are 1-1 in slams now and 4-1 outside. So a little bit of arrogance on his part. Thou he coulda avoided it, I don’t mind. ;)

And it’s not like Nole has been not that type anytime either. Nole also had grown a big mouth at one time when talking about Rafa or even Fed. So from that point of view, we can cut Tsonga some slack. All the players are like that or have been like that at some point or the other. Therefore only one guy must not be targetted from any particular side.


Huh Says:

Ben:

I know very much that Safin’s not a normal tennis player thou his achievements are pretty ordinary. I’ve also nowhere said Safin was ecstasic/happy/overjoyed/jubilliant/spell bounded/awestruck or anything. It’s ok?


Huh Says:

When anyone looks at Safin’s talent, one has to say he could not do justice to his talent and was a huge underachiever and just like many other tennis players, ended up with just a couple of slams. But Fed’s achieved much more even thou he isn’t that much better. Extraordinary things Fed has done. However no offense should be taken to have been intended at Safin. God knows how much I respect Safin. Period.


Huh Says:

And so far as being relieved is concerned, nothing abnormal/unique about safin alone saying. Fed has also spoken about feeling relieved after defeating Rafa or Rod in any close match. So it’s again only normal. And so had Rafa and others after beating some player or the other in any important match.


madmax Says:

I have to disagree with you here huh! Much I like Safin, to say that Fed “wasnt much better” is an injustice to federer’s game – he has so much more variety and mental strength – for starters.

But I agree with you, that Safin seriously underachieved. Why do you think that is? (not as much variety in his game or mental strength?).


Ben Pronin Says:

A lot of these guys’ contemporaries have said that Safin is as talented if not more talented than Federer when it comes to pure tennis abilities. The difference in achievements is a result of desire, commitment, and mental fortitude on Fed’s part, among other things. But tennis-wise, they’re both way up there.


Huh Says:

Maxi:

Talent-wise Safin was very close to Fed and that’s what I’m talking about and so have said his contemporaries too.


Huh Says:

Maxi:

Who am I to dispute Pete who himself had once said that Safin is better and had more potential than him? I certainly won’t question the honesty and integrity of Pete Sampras on that matter. Do you know Maxi? If I had to choose only three tennis guys on the basis of game from among the last two decades to bet my life on, they’d be Pete, Fed and Safin!


Tejuz Says:

Von says: “How nice to see you around! And, congrats on the birth of your son and heir. enjoy your precious bundle of joy.!!Are you having fun with the 2:00 am feedings?
BTW, have you been able to go to Rod Laver Arena to watch Fed play??”

Thanks Von :-) if you call it fun.. then yes.. i do not get enough sleep these days. I somehow try to get some time-off to take a peek at the AO matches on TV these days.. so no way can i go to the Rod Laver Arena. Well.. seems like i have had my share of watching these players live, especially Fed and Nadal. The last match i watched live at Rod Laver Arena was Fed vs Tipsy 5-setter in 2008, which was quite a treat. Also watched a Cilic match then which he won against Gonzo which he won. He played well for a 19 yr old.


Huh Says:

Tejuz:

Sincere congratulations on your son’s birth. God Bless the little one. :P


Tejuz Says:

Yeah.. agree that Safin was as talented as Fed. And at that point in 2005, i believed he would threaten Fed’s No 1 position that year. But Safin is after all Safin.


Tejuz Says:

Thanks Huh.. for your wishes :-)


Ben Pronin Says:

Can anyone here imagine the rivalry Safin and Federer would’ve had if Safin had played up to his potential? Federer and Nadal are one thing but with Safin and Federer, one year a part, good friends, dominating together… what a dream.


Huh Says:

“Federer and Nadal are one thing but with Safin and Federer, one year a part, good friends, dominating together… what a dream.”

Indeed.


Huh Says:

However I really wish Rafa would not face any problem this year. Iwas watching some of his clips yesterday and I was saddened by what he’s suffered for the last 7-8 months. He is a great fighter indeed and tennis needs him more than anyone except Federer. For me honestly, as soon as either Fed/Rafa lose before final, I certainly have less heart-beats and thrills which means in spite of having so many great players right now, subconsciously, which I only now realise as consciously, the excitement probably gets killed. This is may be unfair to the other players, but I seemingly can’t help it. So may be it’s high time for me to accept to myself as to all others that nothing’s more exciting for me than the prospective of having a Fed-Rafa meeting, in slams or elsewhere. Bring on Fed vs Rafa soon!

Top story: 10 Things I Think I Thought About Marin Cilic, The Big Four And The No. 1 Race
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Rankings
ATP - Sep 15 WTA - Sep 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Petra Kvitova
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Maria Sharapova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Na Li
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Kei Nishikori8 Angelique Kerber
9 Marin Cilic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Grigor Dimitrov10 Ana Ivanovic
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